Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Empire's New Tom Cruise Cover
The Jameson Empire Awards 2014
Vote: The Greatest 301 Movies Of All Time!
Rebecca Hall:
My Movie Life

The actress picks the movies that shaped her
Mountain Dew Green Screen
Register now to see X-Men: First Class!
Features
The 50 Greatest Sports Movies
We rank the very best sports films

Ah, sport. Small boys in the park, jumpers for goalposts, a desperate last shot on target as the seconds tick down on the clock – or some combination of such ingredients, anyway. The sports movie is the perfect vehicle for tales of competition, triumph, desire and despair – and what could be more film friendly than that? Ahead of this summer's biggest sporting event, we took a look at the best sports films ever made...

WORDS STEPHEN CARTY, IAN FREER, HELEN O'HARA, CHRIS HEWITT, ALASTAIR PLUMB, PHIL DE SEMLYEN, JAMES WHITE, OWEN WILLIAMS

  Page 1 of 50 Next
50

National Velvet (1944)

DIRECTOR Clarence Brown
STARS Elizabeth Taylor, Mickey Rooney, Donald Crisp, Angela Lansbury, Anne Revere, Jackie Jenkins

The 1935 book by Edith Bagnold spawned this highly successful (if very different) adaptation, which charts what happens when you combine a headstrong young woman (Taylor), a former jockey (Rooney) and a spirited gelding won in a raffle. The mixture, added to a story that hits some compelling sporty plot points (both low and high) and includes a big triumphant finish, scored the movie five Oscar nominations and two wins. That has to be some consolation for what proved a very difficult shoot for its star; Taylor suffered back injuries here that troubled her for the rest of her life. It also managed to spin off both a TV series, a TV movie version and a lesser-known sequel, International Velvet, in 1978, not to mention establishing the young Elizabeth Taylor as one to watch.

QUICK POLL Should National Velvet be higher on the list?
Higher
Off the list!

The Stats
THE SPORT
Horse racing
THE PLAYER
Velvet Brown (Taylor)
DOCUMENTARY?
No.
DEFINING MOMENT
Velvet, against everyone's wishes, decides to ride Pi the horse herself in the Grand National and wins, only to collapse from the saddle with exhaustion before reaching the victors' enclosure.
KEY TACTICS
Latvian jockeys are unreliable. Do it yourself!
  Page 1 of 50 Next

50494847464544434241403938373635343332313029282726
25242322212019181716151413121110987654321

Have your say Agree with the list? Which sports movie would you add to the list? Register or login now to have your say.


Your Comments

1 See Also
Karate Kid, The Waterboy, The foot fist way, Hot rod, Caddy Shack, The mighty ducks, coach carter, blades of glory, mean machine, leatherheads, the ringer, nacho libre, kicking and screaming, baseketball, remember the titans, brians song, don king: only in america, cinderella man, million dollar baby, somebody up there likes me, the boxer, knuckle, bend it like beckham, fever pitch, zidane Read More

Posted on Saturday September 15, 2012, 18:42 by bnicholson50

2 RE: What the Hell!?
l largely an excuse for Chaplin to show off his legendary slapstick skills and rubbery physical abilities while poking fun at sports clichés and underdog stories, but it's still more entertaining than most of the films it skewers. ow exactly does Chaplin, in 1915, skewer films that are very very far from being made and poking fun at sports clichés that do not yet exist? Read More

Posted on Wednesday July 25, 2012, 00:42 by Evil_Bob

3 RE: Rocky - third place
BASEketball should totally be in here. Okay it's not a real sport, but it is a sport movie. And it's funny as shit wise a pretty damn solid list. (Rocky 2-4 should be included as well, but maybe that's being a bit greedy...) Read More

Posted on Tuesday July 24, 2012, 13:55 by Whistler


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Video: Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann And Kate Upton Talk The Other Woman
Prepare your mind for the concept of 'dog ball plumage'

Empire 300th Issue: The Directors' Cut
Spielberg, Whedon, Fincher, Abrams Mann and more take over

The Best Barry Norman Anecdotes From His Empire Podcast Interview
From nearly punching Robert De Niro to the real story about ‘And why not?’

Fired! Losing Your Job In The Movies
The lowdown on getting dismissed on film

20 Not So Super '-Men' That Won't Star In A Film Any Time Soon
Forget your Batmen, your Spider-Men and your Ant-Men… Meet 3-D Man (and his pals)

The Making Of Locke: A Filmmaker's Journey
Steven Knight takes us through six pitstops (via Heston Services)

Tom Hardy: A Viewer's Guide
The essential, the recommended, the one for the fans... and the one to avoid

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get Limited Edition Collectable X-Men Art Cards

Subscribe today and get 6 issues of Empire plus a set of collectable X-Men Art Cards for only £20!

Subscribe today

Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Just £25
Receive limited edition subscribers-only covers every month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)